Interesting Facts about the Spanish Language
Posted on April 24, 2014 by Chris
The Spanish language might be spoken the world over, but often it isn’t one of our most thought of languages.
When we think of languages that are the most spoken we tend to consider English and Chinese at the top of the list, but without a doubt Spanish is a legitimate contender in the popularity stakes.
It is hard to pin point exactly when the Latin in the north-central area of Spain actually progressed into the Spanish that we know today. However what we do know is that the language of the Castile region became a distinct language thanks to King Alfonos’s efforts in the 13th century. He worked hard to make sure that the language was much more standardized for official use. It is in 1492 that we can see the language had reached the point of being most like the Spanish language that we are used to seeing today.
Spanish might have originated on the Iberian Peninsula as a descendant of Latin, but it actually has more speakers in Latin America today. This is because it was brought to the New World when Spain became colonized. Of course there are minor differences between Spanish in Spain and Spanish in Latin America, if you speak one then you can probably communicate with someone who speaks the other.
Facts and Figures
You might be surprised to know that Spanish is the second most popular language in the world, when you look at it in terms of how many people speak it as their first language. This puts them ahead of English (328 million) but quite far behind Chinese (1.2 billion). With 3 million native speakers spread across 44 countries it is the 4th highest geographically widely spoken language. This puts it behind English (112 countries), French (69) and Arabic (57).
As Spanish is part of the Indo-Language family of languages it is now spoken by more than a third of the world’s population. Other languages in this family include French, German, English and the Scandinavian languages. Speaking the language is pretty easy if you know how to spell a word. It is considered one of the most phonetic languages in the world, so they’re mostly pronounced exactly how they are spelt.
Of course when you look at how easy the language is to speak and the countries it is taught in, it isn’t much of a surprise that Spanish often sits near the top of ‘most popular’ language lists.